March 17, 2018
MRFF Clients Successfully Confront Commander with History of Religious Proselytizing
After contacting MRFF for assistance, 11 active duty service members confronted their Commander over the use of sectarian religious based leadership training. The Commander was described by these MRFF clients as heavily involved with both Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF) and the Navigators and had a history of proselytizing to subordinates.
The mission statements of both OCF and the Navigators fly in the face of religious neutrality regulations within the U.S. Military and constitutional provisions for ‘No Religious Tests’ and ‘Separation of Church and State’:
OCF’s Vision is the military community positively impacted through Christ-like leaders. Our Mission is to engage military leaders in Biblical fellowship and growth to equip them for Christ-like service at the intersection of faith, family, and profession.
Until January 2009, the Officers’ Christian Fellowship’s official vision statement was “a spiritually transformed military with ambassadors for Christ in uniform, empowered by the Holy Spirit, living with a passion for God and a compassion for the entire military society.” Its mission statement was “Christian officers exercising biblical leadership to raise up a godly military.”
[source: MRFF Senior Research Director Chris Rodda in ‘Attitudes Aren’t Free’ Parco/Levy, 2010]
It is highly likely this change was brought about by glaring public attention spearheaded by MRFF’s efforts to expose this constitutionally illicit activity by OCF.
Navs Military works alongside chaplains and other Christian ministries to teach, counsel, and make disciples among military personnel and their families. We’re passionate about our military and want to share the transforming power of Christ’s love with those who have chosen to serve and to minister within the military context.
The Commander of these 11 MRFF clients had planned to conduct leadership instruction by “presenting ‘Leadership Principles of Kevin Sorbo’ at Commanders Call with particular emphasis on Sorbo’s role as an “anti-Christian” college professor in the 2014 Christian-themed movie ‘God’s Not Dead’.” Sorbo’s overtly sectarian religious and political statements have been widely reported:
There’s a negativity towards Christians in Hollywood. And a negativity towards people who believe in God. (Sasha Savitsky, FoxNews.com, 3/20/2014)
Sorbo told TMZ two months ago that he believes Jesus would vote for Trump, and he stood by that statement. “You look at Hillary. Does Jesus, does God support lying?” (Fox News Insider, 8/27/2016)
These 11 active duty MRFF clients described what transpired in an email to MRFF on March 17, 2018:
We requested the MRFF’s help through our installation MRFF coordinator. We were advised of certain court cases and regulations. We met with our Commander and asked (him/her) to not proceed with the “instruction” as it would be a violation of our constitutional oaths and regs.
Our Commander at first was angry. (He/She) stated that (he/she) “only wanted to let people in my command know that the leadership of Christ is a great example to follow”. After a 45 minute discussion we were able to convince our Commander to refrain from proceeding with the proselytizing lessons.
Big thanks go to the MRFF and Mr. Weinstein for taking our calls even in the middle of the night. And guiding us as to what to do and giving us the information we needed to succeed. The MRFF helped us to stay confident and informed so that we could do this thing in confronting our Commander. If our Commander ever tries this again or tries for revenge we will call the MRFF immediately.
MRFF commends the bravery of these clients in standing up for their constitutional rights and guarantees. MRFF also commends the Commander for listening and taking appropriate action in this particular instance.